Category: Literature

Maruzen eBook Library (MeL) Now on Trial at OSU Libraries

Update (posted September 1, 2020): Following the trial period described in this blog, OSU Libraries made the decision to permanently adopt the Maruzen eBook Library (MeL) platform, which can be accessed now at: Continue reading for details on how to use this helpful new e-resource!

In an effort to increase the list of e-resources for research and teaching in Japanese Studies, we have set up an Extended Trial Reading Agreement for the Maruzen eBook Library (MeL), which will last until the end of May.  During this trial period, OSU users will be able to access over 56,000 Japanese ebook titles.

Also during this trial period, unlimited concurrent user access is possible, but printing and downloading are not. If you have specific printing and downloading needs – or any questions whatsoever about Japanese language e-resources –  please contact me, Ann Marie Davis, the Japanese Studies Librarian at OSU, at

To get started using this online platform, click the link in the OSU catalog here:   

For tips on how to search for books in MeL and use the various platform functions, please refer to the Maruzen eBook Library cheatsheet.

If you see something you’d like to consider purchasing, please feel free to e-mail me. If you need MeL materials for your teaching or research projects, you can also fill out this form for eBook purchases, which goes straight to our OSU Library acquisitions office:




Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: Kyōsai’s Hyakki Gadan Now at OSU Libraries

Japanese Studies invites you to learn about the mythology and artistic culture of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) through the newly acquired Kyōsai Hyakki Gadan (暁斎百鬼画談), a color woodblock print by eccentric painter and manga forerunner, Kawanabe Kyōsai (河鍋 暁斎, 1831-1889). The long, accordion book (orihon) depicts a parade of all manner of weird and wicked yōkai (妖怪), spirits and demons from Japanese mythology. This particular scene is evocative of the hyakki yagyō (百鬼夜行) idiom, a historic theme in Japanese visual representation wherein a procession of legendary creatures sets foot upon the communities of mortal men and women.

For more information about this new acquisition, please check out the full article on our Manga Blog at OSU Libraries, available here:

Japanese Monsters, Ghosts, and Spirits: Mythical Yōkai (妖怪) at OSU Libraries

An example of a colorful three-panel woodblock print of Japanese spirits and demons from the book Yōkai: Strange Beasts & Weird Spectres — 100 Japanese Triptychs (pages 56-57)

In Japanese folklore, yōkai (妖怪) refers to legendary ghosts, monsters, and spirits.  Rooted in Japanese animism, ancient Japanese religion, and the providence of nature, these mythical creatures are attributed with strange behaviors to explain the otherwise mysterious phenomena encountered in ancient life. Shedding light on the meaning of this word, the two kanji for yōkai, mean “attractive, bewitching” (妖)  and “mystery, wonder” (怪) respectively.  Because of their connection to human nature, yōkai were often depicted as strange embodiments of ordinary individuals or creatures — some resembling humans, for example, with altered features such as a long neck or three eyes.  Others looked like strange animals, plants, insects, or household goods. 

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Spotlight Article: OSUL Collection of Tanikawa Shuntaro (谷川俊太郎)

One of the strengths of the Japanese Studies Collections at the Ohio State University Libraries is an extensive collection of  works and rare publications by world-acclaimed author TANIKAWA Shuntaro ( 谷川俊太郎). Tanikawa is Japan’s preeminent contemporary poet whose work has won over ten literary awards and can be found in Japanese textbooks across the nation. In addition to being a poet, he is also an acclaimed translator, picture book writer, and scriptwriter.

Much of Tanikawa’s work has already been translated and published in English, including his Floating the River in Melancholy, for which he won the American Book Award. His work in translating children’s literature, including Charles Shultz’s Peanuts comic strip, Mother Goose rhymes, and Swimmy by Leo Lionni,  garnered him a nomination for the Hans Christian Andersen award in 2008.  His worldwide stature and presence in literature has also made him a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Shuntarō Tanikawa, 2015 by Círculo de traductores is licensed under CC0

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Japanese Literature: Collections

Tokyo Metropolitan Library Guides:

Major Collectanea:

古典文庫総目錄 (1991): 2d FL  Z3308.L5 Y67 1991
古典文庫総目錄 : 続 (2003): 2d FL  Z3308.L5 Y67 2003

Hard copy: Thompson 2d FL:
CD-ROM in OSU Libraries:
(NOTE: There is a new DVD version: )


Online Resources: